On Location with Ask This Old House

On Location with Ask This Old House
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A segment of Ask This Old House was recorded in my town, Hull, MA. It also just happened to be for Ecovent, and it was shot right next door!

By: Nick Lancaster, Ecovent’s CTO


Nick, CTO, Dip, CEO and Pi, Ecovent Mascot (from the left)

Hull is a historic town that occupies the entire Nantasket Peninsula on the south side of the Boston harbor.  When I first moved to Boston to start Ecovent, my family and I settled in Hull.  This summer, we purchased a home in Hull just a block from beautiful Nantasket Beach.  Through a bit of luck, my fellow Ecovent co-founder and CEO, Dip Patel, purchased the house right next door to mine around the same time!

Arichard-300x300sk This Old House airs on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and as you may have heard, PBS is funded with donation from viewers like you! Ask This Old House has been on the air for 14 years and is an educational show that shows homeowners how to improve their homes the right way.  Richard Trethewey is the resident HVAC expert and all around great guy on the show.

We’ve been lucky to known Rich for a while now. We met Rich at a trade show in 2014, and bonded over involvement in the HVAC industry and being located in Boston.  I’ve personally been a fan of This Old House since I was a kid, and a fan of Ask This Old House since it started airing.  I’ve always loved the “What is it?” segment – where the hosts show the audience obscure tools and demonstrate how they’re used.

We’ve wanted to be on the show since we started the company and especially since we met Rich.  Having proven to Rich and our customers that Ecovent is a quality product that is amazing at delivering room by room comfort in homes with forced air HVAC, we were offered a segment on the show.  Getting our product onto the show was a dream.

Dip had just moved into his house, and it needed Ecovent badly.  His bedroom was 80 while his guest room, just down the hall was 74.  Ask This Old House needed a real house with real problems where they could film the segment.  The timing was perfect.  As the day arrived, we scrambled a bit to get the house in order before the show.  Dip had been so busy operating Ecovent that there were still some boxes to unpack.  Even my mother lent a hand to make his place look great!

The big day arrived and the AtoH trailer pulled into Hull.  Now, in our neighborhood there is another house that is in not so good shape. It had a severe fire, which left much of the structure burned away.  When the AtoH trailer was spotted, the neighbors were excited that they were coming to “fix” that eyesore of a house.  Unfortunately, that house is beyond even the super powers of the AtoH team.  They were of course coming to make Dip’s house more comfortable!

When the trailer shows up, so does the crew. There’s Heath the producer, Sarah the production coordinator, Jay the cameraman, and of course Rich!  The show stays very true to showing reality and doesn’t bring much of anything in the way of fancy tools or equipment.  They did however bring some lunch for us!

After we walked the crew through the home, they set up and the filming began.  We started in the basement where Dip’s HVAC system is housed.  It was a difficult area to shoot in because of the low ceilings, low lighting, and limited space. Fortunately, the Ask This Old House crew are experts, and the shot went off well.  Rich explained on camera how important it is to maintain airflow through the system and how Ecovent ensures that the HVAC system always operates safely.

rich-and-dip-install-ecoventNext, we moved to the first floor for a quick shot in the electronics closet to show the hub being connected, and then to the upstairs to install some sensors and vents in rooms.  Rich hopped up on a step stool, unscrewed an old register, and put in the new Ecovent register, showing how quick it is to swap vents out old vents for Ecovent.  Afterwards, we moved back to the first floor to discuss the app and how the system works.

The final shot was done outside, but it was actually the introduction shot for the entire clip.  This took a few takes, as we were filming in between the neighbor’s lawnmower and the cars driving by.  On the bright side, my house made it into the background of the shot, and will forever be immortalized on AtoH!  After all of this work, and even more work behind the scenes to edit and touch up the original footage, the final product is awesome.  It was great to see a finely tuned team getting a job done quickly and efficiently (reminded me of working with our Ecovent team every day!). We genuinely appreciate Rich for believing in us enough to get us on the show, and the team for being great to work with.  Dip is also appreciative of having Ecovent installed to keep his home comfortable.

Click here to find when the Ecovent episode of Ask This Old House airs in your neighborhood. Enter your zip code in the dark blue ‘TV Listings’ bar near the bottom of the page, and look for Episode 1506 titled ‘HVAC Zoning, Plaster Patch’.

Ask questions and get more about Ecovent data security from CTO Nick Lancaster over on Twitter (@Tech_NickL) or Ecovent’s subreddit.

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